Manufacturing UK 2019 focused on quality

Published:  09 April, 2019

During March 2019, the GTMA once again hosted its popular ‘Manufacturing UK’ event at Yamazaki Mazak’s state-of-the-art machine tool manufacturing plant, Worcester. More than 170 attendees had the opportunity to see the latest products and services from 40 of the association’s members, including toolmakers and precision machining companies, suppliers of cutting tools and workholding, CAD/CAM and ERP software, metrology, testing and inspection, as well as ancillary equipment designed to improve workshop efficiency.

Everyone was welcomed to the event by Jake Bishop, chairman of the GTMA, as he provided an overview of the activities planned for the day, including keynote speeches from Alan Olifent - Powertrain Metrology technology mmnager, Jaguar Land Rover, and David Bailey – Professor of industrial strategy at Aston Business School.

Alan Olifent joined Jaguar Land Rover in 2011 and led the team that delivered gauging and Body-in-White inspection equipment across all new vehicle projects. In 2015 he transferred to Powertrain engineering to help set up a new, world-class Metrology Centre, supporting the whole of Powertrain Engineering with high precision measurement services ranging from first article inspection, durability analysis, supplier quality investigations and warranty actions.

His presentation: ‘Using Measurement for Competitive Advantage’ highlighted how, in many organisations, measurement and inspection are seen as a time-consuming expense. By taking a holistic approach to continuous improvement and using the data from robust measurement processes, businesses can drive down costs and improve profitability.

Using a football-based analogy he asked if the quality department in a manufacturing company was the goalkeeper or the defence? Adding, to improve quality do you get more goalkeepers or stop the opposition taking shots? His point being even a world-class goalkeeper will eventually let in a goal, however if the team stops its opponents taking any shots at the goal the risk is negated.

David Bailey’s presentation: ‘Automotive Issues Update: Market trends, Policy issues, Trade tensions and Brexit, New technologies & value chain affects on the Automotive Sector’ painted a gloomy landscape for manufacturers of diesel-powered vehicles (with sales in the UK down 30% last year, reflected throughout the EU) and those falling behind in the development of electric and alternatively powered vehicles as highlighted by the sales of 1 million electric vehicles in China last year.

Having written extensively on industrial and regional policy, especially in relation to manufacturing and the automotive industry, his recent research has been funded by a number of state and private organisations. One of the standout statements pointed out that driverless cars are coming.

The Manufacturing UK event was held in Mazak’s Advanced European Technical Centre, situated on the same Worcester site as its production facilities. With the latest innovations in high performance machining technology on display together under one roof, the company is able to help European and UK manufacturers achieve significant productivity and profitability increases.

Alan Mucklow, Yamazaki Mazak’s managing d UK & Ireland sales division, offered visitors the opportunity to go on a guided tour of the machine tool maker’s production and assembly facilities. Having a passion for machine tools, he has helped spearhead some of Mazak’s most innovative European launches, including a hybrid full 5-axis additive and subtractive machine tool, the INTEGREX i-400 AM; and SMOOTH Technology, the world’s fastest CNC. And, is also a keen advocate of apprenticeships having come through one himself.

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